Nintendo to offer full game downloads for 3DS and Wii U this fall

Company to offer simultaneous digital versions of full retail titles for new systems this year; first games will be New Super Mario Bros. 2 and new Brain Age title.

Nintendo is finally going to head to the full digital game distribution market. Based on the recently publicized financial results briefing on Nintendo's official site, the company will be offering simultaneous digital download versions of full retail titles on the 3DS and Wii U starting this fall.

The first game to brave this method of distribution will be New Super Mario Bros. 2 for the 3DS. The game was announced to have an August release date. The upcoming Brain Age sequel for the 3DS will also be on sale as a digital copy.

The new Mario platformer will be out in digital form soon enough.

Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata said during the briefing that one downside of digital downloads would be that gamers would need to reserve enough storage space on their SD cards. Furthermore, software will not be able to be shared with multiple 3DS systems.

Iwata also said that the company's digital download program would involve retailers. Customers who buy the games from selected retailers will be given a 16-digit code that can be used on Nintendo's e-Shop to get the specific title. According to Iwata, there will not be much of a price difference between the digital and physical versions.

The Wii U will also be employing the digital download program when it launches in Japan, Europe, the US, and Australia this year. For more news on Nintendo's financial standing, check out GameSpot's latest coverage.

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Discussion

69 comments
andrescapo_
andrescapo_

Not much to say about this... I'm a videogame collector, as such I don't sell any of my games and I want them to use physical space in my room, reason why I won't be buying any digital games.

But, if they add gamecube games on the virtual console for Wii U, i might get some old games I missed for being a poor kid unable to have a job cause of being under age.

Lims26
Lims26

sounds good...im about to buy pullblox soon...hopefully gamecube games and wii games will be available on wii u when its launched...i'm looking forward to playing wave race blue storm and star fox adventures again

finaleve
finaleve

@JoonKimDMD Except there are some games actually worth keeping.

EzcapeTheFate
EzcapeTheFate

Good thing is with digital downloads once you buy it, as long as the service is still up and running, you can always re-download the game if you get tired of it and delete it at some point.

JoonKimDMD
JoonKimDMD

only stupid people will download cuz 1. physical copy worth more 2. u can sell physical copy to gamestop or ebay and make profit.

jtthegame316
jtthegame316

if they hope to sell digital copies price has to be resonable i refuse to buy from games on the demand on xbox most the time because they over charge. occasional they charge a price i will pay like with resident evil 4 crysis and code veronica.

S_Pac_316
S_Pac_316

Just as long as I can still buy hard copies, I'm cool with this. But I really hope that physical media won't disappear.

69ingChimpmunks
69ingChimpmunks

I love Nintendo (old systems, not the new ones) but come on, It's a little too late to get into the whole online thing. Microsoft has had that market cornered for years and Sony is a solid second. You ,Nintendo, are pretty much non-existant in this market so why bother now?

leeko_link
leeko_link

By doing this it'll probably means Nintendo would allow hard drive to be compatible with the Wii U cuz c'mon you can't put multiple Wii U games on the Wii U without some kind of hard drive spaces to back them up.

leeko_link
leeko_link

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

Sir_Torrigan
Sir_Torrigan

They allow you to use an external hardrive with the Wii U as confirmed E3 2011. Personally, since external hardrives are so cheap at the moment, I really don't mind getting an inexpensive 1TB hardrive for the Wii U.

OHGFawx
OHGFawx

Without a hard drive space would quickly become an issue, while shelf space in my house is not. I'll take the physical copies.

BoabDreeps
BoabDreeps

@dawnofhero I only trash worthless things.

dawnofhero
dawnofhero

@BoabDreeps I'm glad I don't trash my gaming equipment like you do... respect your things, master Boab ;)

InSayNine
InSayNine

If Nintendo are going to have digital distribution as an option they better let us plug in external hard drives cause there is probably limited to no storage on the "wiiu" as they wish to keep cost down. SD cards just do not cut it for games that are truly HD

Valen_Ca
Valen_Ca

Here is to hoping that Nintendo implements a better online system so that we can transfer licenses to another WiiU or 3DS in the event of hardware failure, otherwise this will be completely useless.

BoabDreeps
BoabDreeps

The only downside to this is that once you have paid for and (inevitably) hated the game, you will not have a pysical disc to rip out of the console and throw against a wall in disgust. Those WiiU controllers look like they'd put a good dent in my walls. Will Nintendo reveal at E3 how many good impacts it will take for the thing to burst in to bits? Wii motes were surprisingly robust...there you go...a positive comment from me RE: Nintendo...so don't thumbs me down.

digi-demon
digi-demon

Sadly physical media will become scarce in this DL videogame future - bleak times ahead for proper videogame collectors :(

soulless4now
soulless4now

I rather get a physical copy since those become cheaper as time passes not mention there's more sales for them.

deadmonkey76
deadmonkey76

cant wait for the wiiu only digital downloads I will buy are from games I cant get on disc like the classics love nintendo was the system of choice before sony lurked its ugly head ohh wait nintendo was still way better than sony graphics were better to on nintendo 64

inso-maniac
inso-maniac

so basically a nintendo store similar to playstation store. seems ok tho i dont see wats wrong with physical copies

KBFloYd
KBFloYd

cool i might buy one...but im mostly the physical type.

anybodykilla15
anybodykilla15

digital distribution is nothing but profit, when you take into account the money needed to print the manuals, gate fold, plastic case, and the game card, not to mention all digital sales won't end up in the trash or bargain bin or used sale (thats cheating).and i forgot shipping costs.

Sohereiam
Sohereiam

@fester420 True there's no physical sale, but the fact that digital distribution doesn't give much return is also true, Nintendo is using this strategy to recover part of the lost money at star of the year. But its bad strategy, when the same software is released in two forms, they compete against each other, and since both requires money to be created you spend more money to reach the same amount of consumers.

fester420
fester420

@Sohereiam digital sales are 100% profit, they aren't selling a physical product.

Sohereiam
Sohereiam

Awful idea, if they were to enforce physical sales it would be more beneficial, digital sales doesn't bring large profit.

Sir_Torrigan
Sir_Torrigan

@megam, ggregd The Digital download code and the physical copy available at retailers are two different things. You do NOT get both, but choose to buy at the retailers one or the other. Hope that cleared things up.

Superzone
Superzone

That's cool that they're giving people the option, but I'll pass. I like my physical copies of games.

xcollector
xcollector

Whats wrong with Nintendo? Do they know about a storage device called a Hard Drive? Its hard to believe that they'll force people to use SD cards again like they did with the Wii. And they are thinking about full retail games on a SD Card. You're going to need to buy an SD card for almost every game you get then. Unbelievable. They didn't properly plan this out.

Flint247
Flint247

Great option idea. However, I will still get the physical copy to save on space.

Roger01
Roger01

Nintendo: "Satoru Iwata said during the briefing that one downside of digital downloads would be that gamers would need to reserve enough storage space on their SD cards. Furthermore, software will not be able to be shared with multiple 3DS systems." Crytek: "Hurrdurr it would be awesome if we could prevent people from buying used games."

moviequest14
moviequest14

Nice idea , this isn't the type of game I go for digital download for but still.

WolfGrey
WolfGrey

Took ya long enough Nintendo.I understand your always behind the times, but catch up will ya.

Virtua_Souls
Virtua_Souls

Cool! Glad to see Nintendo catching up with Digital Downloads. It's always nice to have the option. Still, I'll probably just end up buying the retail version of any games :P

nate1222
nate1222

I was hoping for re-releases of my GBA favs. Well, looks like I won't be parting with my DS Lite (GBA compatible) any time soon.

YoshiYogurt
YoshiYogurt

ugh I hope new super maro bros 2 is on a cart too, I let my friend borrow most of my ds games after I'm done

Freezezzy
Freezezzy

* Copies restricted to one 3DS only. * Little difference in price compared to the physical version. * Digital versions sold in the same place as the physical versions. So, aside from saving shelf space, I see no real benefits to going all digital here.

Anema1986
Anema1986

it was about time, love the retailers option,not a breakthrough but certainly nice

leimonides
leimonides

Options are awesome! I like this method.

ggregd
ggregd

@megam - Yeah, they're that dumb.

vironydc
vironydc

@fester420 That's possible with the 3DS? I'm basing my thought on the article stating, "Furthermore, software will not be able to be shared with multiple 3DS systems." As I have yet to get a new 3DS and own a fully digital/physical 3DS title like New Super Mario Bros. 2, I can't really test that. We'll have to see how the new Nintendo Network and eShop integration goes. As for the PS3 letting you infinitely redownload, what I meant to say is you're limited to 5 systems. In the odd chance that you got 5 failing PS3s, lol! I should have worded that better.

JoSilver
JoSilver

It's cool to have the option but I'd much rather get a physical copy and save my memory card for other things. Would be nice to have at least one downloadable game though in case you forget your ziplock baggie of games at home one day :D

megam
megam

Does this mean I can buy the physical copy and sell the digital code? Or buy the physical copy, use the code for myself, and sell the physical copy? One can hope.

fester420
fester420

@vironydc All you have to do is deactivate the old 3ds and activate the new one. Also I have always been able to redownload anything I've purchased on psn infinitely. Once you buy it you always own it.

Raeldor
Raeldor

Can't re-sell a digital download when you're finished with it. I'll buy retail for as long as I can, but I think that time will be coming to an end.

shadowhunter0
shadowhunter0

took them long enough allot of other company including Sony have been doing this for years